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Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon on Friday outlined his vision for the future of Walmart

BY Michael Johnsen
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart intends to reinvent retail and capture the hearts, minds and wallets of its customers through servitude – Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon told the some 14,000 attendees of Walmart's 46th Annual Shareholders Meeting. McMillon identified three key constituents that should be served by the retailer – its own employee base, customers and the communities in which its stores operate. 
 
“As the world becomes more digital, it will be the humanity of Walmart that differentiates us and wins with customers,” he said. “Our investments in education and training, store structure, wages, hours and sales floor technology are to support you and enable you to serve your customers and members. Every associate has a role to play. The actions of 2.3 million of you add up to something big.”
 
McMillon on Friday outlined his vision for the future of Walmart and urged the company’s 2.3 million associates to write the next chapter in Walmart’s story, saying “We have the opportunity to reimagine retail again.”
 
McMillon reinforced the call to action by announcing that Walmart is now working with Uber and other partners to test deliveries to customers from U.S. stores and clubs. He also took to Facebook Live to connect directly with Walmart associates around the world and thank them for their service.
 
“This is our ambition globally: we want to be the first place busy families go to save money and time, especially on their everyday needs," McMillon said. "We’re connecting all the parts of Walmart into one seamless shopping experience with great stores, easy pickup, fast delivery, and apps and websites that are simple to use.”
 
McMillon went on to recap the progress Walmart has made in creating a seamless shopping experience for customers around the world. In the U.S., Walmart associates are more engaged, merchandise assortment is improving, and inventory flow is better. Online grocery pickup has rolled out in nearly 40 markets.
 
Additionally in the U.S., the retailer will offer Walmart Pay in every store by the end of this month to make the checkout experience faster and easier. And the retailer has recently announced an unlimited two-day shipping option from Walmart.com and a rapid online assortment expansion.
 
“We’ll be there for our customers – making their lives simpler and better. And customers will choose Walmart because we’ve earned it,” McMillon said.
 
McMillon also spoke about the company’s role in serving communities.
 
“Our customers care about their neighbors, their planet and their children’s future. They want to buy products that are good for the environment and the people who made them," he said. "They want items that are safe and healthy for their families. And ultimately they want to spend their money with a retailer they trust. We earn trust by operating in a way you and your family can be proud of. We'll do that and more.”
 
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Costco’s comps level for May, YTD

BY David Salazar
ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco recently shared its May sales results, posting net sales of $9.23 billion, a 3% increase over the $8.98 billion it brought in during the similar period last year. This year May included an extra sales day in the U.S. compared to last year due to the timing of Memorial Day, which the company expects to positively impact net sales and comparable sales for the year by about 2.5% overall and 3.5% in the U.S. 
 
Costco’s comparable sales for the month rose 1% in the U.S., dropped 1% in Canada and dropped 3% internationally, essentially leveling out total company comps for the month posting a 0% change over last year. Excluding the effects of gasoline price deflation and foreign exchange, comps lifted 4% in the United States, 6% in Canada, 3% internationally and 4% for the total company.
 
Costco also shared year-to-date sales for the 39 weeks ended May 29, posting a 2% increase in U.S. comps alongside a 5% and 4% decrease in Canada and international markets, respectively, for a 0% rise over last year. Factoring out gas price deflation and foreign exchange effects, the 39 weeks saw a 5% rise overall, including a 4% rise in U.S. comps, a 9% rise in Canadian comps and a 5% international rise in comps. 
 
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Target emphasizes mobile experience with updated Target.com platform

BY Michael Johnsen
MINNEAPOLIS – Mobile is becoming the device of choice for today’s shoppers, Target noted in a release Thursday, and Target guests over-index for mobile usage. In addition, mobile traffic and sales have been key to driving Target’s digital growth, the retailer stated. 
 
Beginning June 2, no matter the screen size or device — mobile, tablet or desktop — visitors to Target.com will have a more consistent and unified experience, the company announced. 
 
Target previously operated two separate websites: one for desktop and one for mobile. The shift to one site means Target’s desktop experience will, essentially, be the same one that guests have seen on Target’s mobile website. Managing Target.com with one code base will enable the company's digital to make updates faster and more efficiently than ever before.
 
“People rely more than ever on their phones for everything in life, from interactions with friends to scheduling to shopping,” stated Jason Goldberger, Target’s chief digital officer. “We’ve talked for years about being a mobile-first retailer. This move takes us from mobile first to mobile only.”
 
The Target team has been methodically building and testing the new Target.com experience — which is built to adapt to screen sizes from desktop to tablet to mobile — since launching the site last year for mobile and tablet.
 
With the new upgrade, guests can switch more seamlessly between devices — even if they do so mid-shopping spree. In a recent survey, 80% of Target shoppers stated that they had started a task on one device, then switched to a different device to complete the task.
 
The overall digital engagement will be more visual, Target noted, with fewer words and descriptions. 
Last year, Target’s mobile conversion rate shot up almost 90% and is now higher than its desktop rate in 2013 — another clear sign that mobile is at the center of Target's guests lives and that they crave convenience, the retailer noted. 
 
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